Kalispell, MT, sends a message via old-fashioned ‘flag mail’: It’s still our country!

This week, my national column for Real Clear Politics celebrates the everyday patriots of Montana. Help me get #FlyYourFlag trending on social media as we fight to take back our country from the Democrat socialists. And make sure your American flag is sending a message on your porch too!

Want Your Country Back? #FlyYourFlag

By Frank Miele

One day last week I made a startling discovery as I was walking through my neighborhood in Kalispell, Mont. For some reason, an extraordinary number of houses were flying the U.S. flag on their front porches.

This was several weeks after the Fourth of July and more than two months after Flag Day, but let’s face it: Even in heartland Montana, flying the flag is an increasing rarity, holiday or not. Yet, as I walked a two- or three-block radius from my home, I kept noticing the Stars and Stripes saluting me.

Coincidentally, I was just putting the final touches on my new book, “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends,”and it seemed like maybe God was trying to tell me something about the character of our country. What was it about that flag that was cherished by so many residents of a small town in the Mountain West, and what was it about the American spirit that made Old Glory the proper symbol for our time?

It got me thinking. I remembered how on July 6 when I had gone out to remove the flag from my own porch after the holiday weekend, I noticed a flag was still flying on a home about a block away. That inspired me to keep my own flag up as well. After all, our country seems to be in need of inspiration more than ever. With so many athletes, celebrities, and politicians ripping down our national traditions, smack-talking our national heroes and questioning our values, it seemed like the least I could do.

I wasn’t alone. In dozens of homes in my neighborhood the decision had been made to make a statement with the red, white and blue. Was it a movement? Was there a meme or a hashtag that had encouraged my neighbors to #FlyYourFlag or to be #FlagProud?

None that I could find. I did a Google search and discovered that there was no evidence of an organized patriotic movement to promote flag flying. Instead, it seemed entirely spontaneous. I decided to knock on doors to see what had motivated some of my neighbors to keep their flags flying instead of packing them away in shame, like so many of their fellow Americans who had been told that America was a racist, evil country with no redeeming value.

One young homeowner who asked to be identified as Mrs. Wood spoke for me and probably millions of others:

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“With all the craziness going on, we think it’s important to remember the fundamentals,” she said. “People are trying to change a lot in our country all at once, and people need to remember what really matters.”

Boom! I promise I didn’t pay her to practically quote the title of my new book, but it was assurance that my premise was correct. God, country, family and friends — those are the fundamentals that anchor our lives, and when the winds of change shift, it is to those fundamentals that we cling, not bitterly, as President Obama suggested in a famous quote, but proudly and confidently.

Mrs. Wood spoke of the veterans in her family who had served under the flag, and noted, “Nowadays they don’t get the respect they deserve.” It made me think of Francis Scott Key’s War of 1812 paean to the durability of both our republic and our flag. No matter how perilous the fight, no matter how violent the assault, “O say can you see … that our flag was still there.”

Down the street, I talked to another neighbor who was flying not just the American flag, but also a Trump 2020 flag. When asked why he was flying the banners in tandem, he said that for him they represented the same thing: “Freedom, America, our rights, what the country used to be for years, and what President Trump wanted to continue.

“For us, it represents a rebellion in a way,” against the transformation of the country my neighbor sees happening in the Biden administration, he added. “We still believe in our liberties. Montana is a conservative state. You still have more rights here, hunting, fishing, guns, but that could change.”

As for the Trump flag? “That’s us giving our middle finger to the Democrat socialists.”

In a sense, that’s what I suspect the motivation is for many of us flying our U.S. flags, too. It’s not that everyday Democrats don’t love the country, but they are in thrall to an ideology that is willing to sacrifice everything uniquely American and replace it with a self-loathing counterfeit orthodoxy that would rob us of our ingenuity, our character and our exceptionalism. Most of us don’t want to fight, certainly not with guns, but we know that if we don’t fight back at all, we will be absorbed and erased and canceled.

In a word, the flag stands for freedom. It’s against the racist indoctrination of critical race theory. It’s against mask mandates without science. It’s against restrictions on religion. It’s against open borders. It’s against rewriting history. It’s against murder in our cities and criminals given free rein. It’s against rigged elections. It’s against censorship. In short, it’s against what our Founding Fathers called tyranny.

So, if there isn’t a movement to #FlyYourFlag, maybe it is time to start one. Maybe it will start in a small neighborhood of hard-working Americans in Northwest Montana. I’d like to think so.

Conservative icon Steve Bannon, the host of “War Room,” likes to say that “courage is contagious.” With any luck, maybe patriotism is too.


My new book is “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends” and is a collection of personal essays that transcend politics. The title says it all. My earlier books in the Heartland Diary series include “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution,” “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page. Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana.

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8 Replies to “Kalispell, MT, sends a message via old-fashioned ‘flag mail’: It’s still our country!”

  1. My two brothers, Jerry Shaw, Doug Shaw and I sold the Interlake paper on the streets of Kalispell in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I remember one of our best selling days was when the Conrad Bank across from the Train Depot burned down. If I remember right it took the Fire Dept. several days to put the fire out as the Bank was so Large.

  2. WoW…..
    Great reminder…Thanks for it ..
    Im 7 miles West into the mountains
    Just South of Canada.
    ,Not many will see my Flag.
    I will.
    At 7 yrs. old,in NYC, The New York Times(? )
    came in many sections
    My first job in life was to go the local store
    Put those sections into one full paper.
    My pay:
    Be one of the first to read the funnies
    Read as many comic books as I wanted
    Eat the bottom of the barrel of 3 gallon ice cream containers
    It was on Sunday..
    The only day I was allowed to cross the street by myself
    I suspect that is how and when I became hooked on news
    and the Writers therein..??.
    Years later I read 4 or 5 papers daily.
    That was all 74 years ago
    Pardon the long/windy…

    Thanks for the Memory……..


  3. There are many folks in rural East Flathead Valley neighborhoods continuing to fly their flags rain or shine for most of the reasons you wrote about in your article. We decided to take the money we might have spent at local restaurants & fast food joints during Covid Seclusion and had Craig @ Flathead Flagpoles install a 20 footer with a solar light. He did a great job. It is a beautiful, daily inspiration.

  4. Thank you for your excellent article. Your words inspire and encourage our family. I like that you mentioned Francis Scott Key. I published an article for July 4th with similar themes about our flag and the War of 1812 as a reminder of historically challenging times for America and the great need to pray for our country. “America: In God is Our Trust” (https://onepeterfive.com/america-in-god-is-our-trust/)

    Thanks again for the uplifting words in your articles!

  5. So where were you when the only conservative radio station in Montana was attacked by false slander claims and closed down by the DOJ and gave it all away to the Gardners free of charge? Caught you on War Room. Hasn’t been a day since 2009 crooks and feds haven’t had me in court. Falsified documents on our home and using courts to make me homeless. The DOJ in Montana and local courts are more corrupt than DC. The Governor and Legislature are afraid of our “judicial system.” there’s your storie.

    1. Hi John: you were certainly a firebrand before it was popular. I do think you may have been an early victim of the PC crowd. The separate issue of the Gardner lawsuit against you I won’t weigh in on because I’m not familiar with the details. Certainly the judicial system has become a political weapon and I don’t doubt that they went after you to make a point. Anyway, good to hear from you. Hope you and Pam have been able to keep your faith despite what may well be described as political persecution.

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